Teaching English Online – China 2020

In the last decade or so, the ESL teaching industry has been changing with technology like nobody’s business. You no longer have to travel across borders to teach foreign students. Better yet, you don’t even have to struggle to find a classroom or workspace to meet in person. Instead, you can teach ESL online from home! And you don’t even have to get out of your PJs! Strike that. On second thought, you should throw on something a bit more professional because you still want to look the part. After all, teaching English online is a paid job and it’s one you should take seriously..

Teaching English online is a great alternative to teaching abroad. The flexibility, comfort, and freedom give teachers from across the globe a chance to interact with international students while working from home.

Whether you are looking to earn extra money, set your own work schedule, or make a difference in the lives of others, you’ll be able to find it in CYI in cooperation with Jensen360 to teach English from home opportunities. Teaching English as a second language is now easier than ever. All you need to do is apply, and we’ll help with the rest.


Students at Yangzheng Primary School Hangzhou, China return to school with wide hats to ensure they stay apart. Picture: Zhejiang Daily via @SixthTone/Twitter

4 Reasons toTeach Online

  • Flexible Working Hours
  • Make A Difference In Students’ Lives
  • Work From Home Convenience
  • Teach the same student every week,and build great rapport
  • Get Paid Online
Teaching Online in China

Teach Kids or Adults, You Choose! 

Whether you have an interest in teaching kids online or adults online, good news; CYI offers both positions when you decide to teach from home with us. We offer a range of lessons for two age groups of students, varying from conversational group classes to private and tailored one-to-one lessons. We have award-winning course material to help give you a basis in your lessons, as well as 24/7 technical support should you run into any issues. 


Students in Classroom in school – China

Who Are We?

Zhejiang China Youth International Cultural Consulting Development Co., Ltd.,  (CYI) founded in 2001, is subordinate to Zhejiang Provincial Youth League Committee. Holding the “Certificate of Qualification for Employing Foreign Experts” issued by State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs, the P.R.C, our company, China Youth International (CYI) has established a stable partnership of cooperation with over 500 education institutions. Offering thousands of foreign specialists to domestic enterprises and institutions, and creating oversea study opportunities for more than 20,000 students, our company has formed a patten as Hangzhou centered with wide radiation covering Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou. Our staff shall develop our cultural and educational brand with the concept of “Serving with honesty, high-quality and efficiency.” We have been leading the hiring and education industry for almost two decades now and we pride ourselves in the service quality we offer. 

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CYI company building

Join us if this sounds like you

  • Talented in connecting with and inspiring kids
  • Motivated by sharing knowledge, learning about new cultures, and impacting others
  • Excellent cultural awareness and communication & motivational skills
  • Native-level English-accent
  • Comfortable using computer & headset and have a reliable WiFi connection
  • Having availability during lesson times for the China time zone:  weekday afternoon/evenings and weekends (CST/GMT time zone)

Working from Home – Tips

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Have you had any experience teaching online? What has your experience been like?

COVID-19: Future of English Language (ESL) Teaching in China 2020

The coronavirus (COVID-19) has had a huge impact in a very short space of time on the online English language teaching (ELT) industry in China.
With hundreds of thousands of students effectively unable to leave their homes, schools, brick-and-mortar language schools and existing online teaching companies rushed to get as many of them learning online as possible.
As with everything in China, the change from classroom-based teaching to online learning was incredibly fast, and while many people are now back at work, many schools have still not reopened. Primary and secondary schools started online classes in Shanghai as of March 2. Classes are delivered either via cable TV channels or through platforms like Ding Talk, a popular chat and video conferencing app (think a mix of WhatsApp and Zoom). Indeed, Ding Talk reports that more than 700,000 students in Wuhan alone are taking classes on the platform.


The market was difficult even before the outbreak, with competition from the new online language schools. This put a real strain on brick and mortar schools that were teaching offline. It was only in October of 2019 when Webi (Web International English), a large chain, went out of business leaving staff unpaid and students without reimbursement. 

With the coronavirus, many language schools across China faced a huge problem. In an already challenging market, they were unable to operate. Faced with no income and potentially still liable for their ongoing costs such as rental and staff salaries, they have experienced heavy losses in what is traditionally a strong sales period after the Chinese New Year. 

Moreover larger online providers like TAL have been looking to capitalise on the situation by partnering with over 300 public schools across China and others offering free or discounted classes.



While primary and secondary schools may return to school as normal, the situation could be very different for smaller language schools. Students may return and some may survive with a big hit to their annual income. 

But while students may return in the short term to take classes they had already paid for, now that they have experienced online classes, which they may not have done before, will they continue to enrol in courses, or will they switch to online providers?

In the online training webinars I have run there is a clear fear among language schools that they have to adapt quickly to online teaching, not just during the coronavirus, but for the foreseeable future.


Online English classes are not a new phenomenon in China. EF, Education First, a big player in the Chinese market, has been running online classes as part of a blended/hybrid model (where students do some classes face to face and additional classes online) since the early 2000s.

The proposition is simple. As a student or parent, a decade ago, you had to enrol at your local language school, hope they provide a good teacher and spend a significant proportion of your income. Now you can enrol your child at an online school, pick and choose the teacher and not have to sit and wait in the lounge for the class to finish after work or on the weekend. If you are not happy with the school, you can simply switch to another provider.



Given this potentially accelerated competition from online, many schools are asking more than ever ‘what they can do to compete with purely online schools?’ A common strategy seems to be to try to move to a blended/hybrid model, the strategy that Education First has been using for several years.

There are challenges in doing this. Not only do brick-and-mortar schools need to differentiate from online schools somehow, the transition to online teaching, as many have experienced, is not easy.

While in the short term platforms like Ding Talk work as they can be deployed very quickly and cheaply, they are not really designed as online classrooms and don’t have the key features required for teaching (interactive class materials, student reward systems, drawing tools etc.) Nor do they have student and teacher management systems to handle scheduling, class feedback or customer service.

While parents will no doubt understand the expediency of teaching online via a platform like Ding Talk, it’s not a sustainable model long term (unless Ding Talk adjusts the platform quickly for its new user case!)



There is an industry tied to the ELT industry that recruits foreign teachers into China. There is a lot of concern that the supply of qualified foreign teachers will become even tighter. In the short term at least, rightly or wrongly, China may no longer be seen an attractive destination for teachers due to the coronavirus. Given the Chinese government’s recent tightening of regulations on teachers’ qualifications and backgrounds, some smaller schools are going to need to reassess the feasibility of the foreign teacher in the offline classroom. 

With no reduction in desire from parents and students for qualified foreign teachers however, new models for language schools will be needed if foreign teacher supply does indeed fall. One option that will need to be explored is an expanded role for high-quality local teachers teaching in the offline classroom coupled with an independent contractor foreign teacher teaching online. This could be either joining the classroom live via a teaching platform or as additional classes when students are at home. 


The impact of the coronavirus will not just be felt in the Chinese ELT market, but many other countries that rely on China as a source of a lot of their students. With the travel restrictions due to the fear of a global spread Chinese students are not travelling to language schools and camps abroad. In the UK bookings have already fallen dramatically, and with other major sources of students, such as Italy and Japan, also reducing bookings the future is looking rather bleak for some businesses. They too will need to find ways to adapt to the changing future of ELT.

We have been saying it for years but the coronavirus may have just proved it. The future of language teaching not just in China, but globally, is online.


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12 Best Things to Do in Shanghai

From exploring quirky museums and contemporary art, eating sour dumplings and drinking craft cocktails, and visiting the Buddha temple and sailing on a riverboat tour, here are the very best things to see and do while visiting Shanghai, China.

The Bund

The Bund is Shanghai’s waterfront boulevard, lined in the heritage buildings that showcase the city’s pre-1949 past and across the river from the Pudong skyscrapers of its future. Along the Bund, Shanghai’s street life is in full force. It’s bustling even at dawn, with locals ballroom dancing, exercising, and practicing tai chi and qi gong. Day and night, Chinese tourists, foreigners, and Shanghai locals walk the Bund, snapping photos of each other backed by the skyscrapers. At night, the towers are lit with flashing neon lights reflected in the Huangpu River.

The Bund in Shanghai -
The Bund – Shanghai, China

Yu Garden

While the area around Yu Garden is commercialized and the garden itself not as impressive as the classical gardens of Suzhou, it’s one of the few old sights left in Shanghai, and a valuable piece of the city’s rapidly disappearing past. Commissioned in 1559 by Ming Dynasty official Pan Yunduan, the garden was built over nearly two decades by the renowned architect Zhang Nanyang. In the mid-1800s, it was here that the Society of Small Swords planned their uprising against the French colonists, who then destroyed the garden during the first Opium War. After you walk around carp-filled ponds and through the rock gardens and bamboo groves, visit the small museum dedicated to the Society of Small Swords rebellion.

chungking / Shutterstock

French Concession

In 1849, Shanghai ceded an area for French settlement to the French Consul. The French consulate built Western-style homes and imported London plane trees to shade the streets. Foreigners shopped, drank, and dined, and some got up to no good, visiting opium dens and brothels. As the concession expanded, British and American expats moved in, eventually followed by White Russians. Today, despite massive redevelopment throughout the city, the French Concession looks much as it did a century ago. Its streets today are comparably quiet and leafy, lined in cafés, boutiques, and restaurants.

Photo: Mariagroth | Dreamstime.com

Shanghai Museum

The adage “don’t judge a book by its cover” surely applies to Shanghai Museum, whose exterior—designed to look like an ancient bronze cooking vessel called a dingis not pleasing to the eye. Within the museum are more than 120,000 pieces spread across 11 galleries. You’ll find paintings, bronzes, ceramics, sculptures, jade, calligraphy, Ming and Qing dynasty furniture, coins, and jewelry. The dress and costume gallery showcases intricate handiwork from some of China’s 55 ethnic minority groups. English signage is quite good, and audio guides are available.

Photo: Eastphoto | Dreamstime.com

People’s Square

The geographical center of Shanghai, People’s Square is an enormous public square in which Shanghai denizens hang out all day, every day. Residents stroll, practice tai chi, and fly kites. Grandparents sit, drinking tea from thermoses and gossiping. Come evening, ballroom dancers hold group lessons. The subway station below people’s square is the intersection of metro lines 1, 2, and 8, and is estimated to be the busiest metro station in China, handling some 700,000 people every day. People’s Square is home to Shanghai Museum and the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center. For kids, there’s a tiny amusement park with inexpensive rides. Weekends here are extremely busy, particularly on Xizang Road.

Nanjing Lu

Shanghai’s main shopping street, Nanjing Lu (lu means road) runs in two sections—East Nanjing Road, from the Bund to People’s Square, and West Nanjing Road, from People’s Square to Jing’an district. A walk along Nanjing Road in either direction is a walk through the city’s history. East Nanjing Road is the Times Square of Shanghai, pedestrianized and lit by the blaze of neon signs. It has long been Shanghai’s high street, and at the turn of the century had eight posh department stores and a slew of smaller shops. West Nanjing Road ran through the International Settlement and was called Bubbling Well Road. It was quiet and tree-lined, a popular place for expats to stroll and home to a few residences. It was home to Bubbling Well Cemetery, which is now Jing’an Park, and all that remains of its past is a row of imported London planes. Today, West Nanjing Road is a busy upscale street, lined in gleaming malls, shops, offices, and hotels.

Huangpu Riverboat Tour

The Huangpu River divides Shanghai in two. The older west side, Puxi, is the city center. The newer east side, Pudong, starts off with Shanghai’s trio of supertall skyscrapers—Jinmao Tower, Shanghai World Financial Center, and Shanghai Tower—and then gradually becomes more suburban. Huangpu River tours offer a gentle immersion into Shanghai and are particularly pleasant at night when buildings on both sides are lit up. Your best bet is the 40-minute cruise departing from the base of the Oriental Pearl Tower in Pudong. You can sit inside or out, and it’s just long enough to take in the scenery and enjoy the breeze.

Pudong Skyscrapers

Puxi, Shanghai’s west side, has the city’s historic buildings, and Pudong, its east, has the skyscrapers. These are concentrated in the Lujiazui neighborhood, just across from the Bund. The 88-floor Jin Mao Tower (8 is an auspicious number), is a postmodern spin on a classic 13-tier Buddhist pagoda design. Zoom to the tower’s top-floor observation deck and take in the 360-degree views, or skip the line and settle into a window seat at Grand Hyatt’s 87th-floor Cloud 9 bar. Just across the street is Shanghai World Financial Center, aka “The Bottle Opener.” It has three observation decks, the highest of which is on the 100th floor. The view from the top is thrilling—on a clear day, you’ll feel as if you’re floating above the city, and when it’s overcast, it’s as if you’re adrift in the clouds. As with Jin Mao Tower, you can skip the crowds of the observation deck by going for tea or a drink at Park Hyatt’s 87th-floor Living Room. The crown jewel of the trio is Shanghai Tower—China’s tallest building and the world’s second tallest—gently curving 2,000 feet into the sky. Its observation deck is on the 119th floor, and your vista is a sweeping panorama of the city, looking down on Shanghai World Financial Center and Jin Mao Tower. The Oriental Pearl Tower appears like a toy; the cars, people, and trees on the road 1,800 feet below tiny as a scale model.

Contemporary Art

Time was Beijing had China’s best contemporary art, in 798 Art District, but today Shanghai is bursting with galleries and contemporary art museums exhibiting world-class shows. The Power Station of Art, in a former power plant on the one-time World Expo site has no permanent collection, instead hosting large-scale exhibitions, such as works from top Chinese artist Cai Guoqiang or a Warhol retrospective. A block in from the Bund, in a beautifully restored 1932 Art Deco building is Rockbund Art Museum, where galleries installed with temporary exhibitions from artists like Zhang Huan and Felix-Gonzalez Torres lead up to a roof deck. Down on the South Bund are Yuz Museum and Long Museum. Yuz, in a former airplane hanger, has hosted a retrospective on Charlie Chaplin and Instagram-fave installation Rain Room by Random International. Long has highlighted top artists in Southwestern Chinese modern art and French-American artist Louise Bourgeois.

Sip Craft Cocktails

Shanghai has gone through a cocktail renaissance, with dozens of bars now slinging good quality and inventive craft cocktails. For an easy Shanghai bar crawl, work your way around the French Concession or Jing’an, or head down to the Bund for drinks with a skyline view. So where to drink? There are the speakeasies, like intimate, quiet Speak Low where the bartenders deliver drinks like the Sawadee-Cup, Thai-style bubble tea with brown butter-washed rum. Union Trading Company is a neighborhood bar that deals in classic cocktails but also a rotating list of the zingy and new, like Banana Alexander (cream, rum, banana liqueur). In winter, cozy, dim Senator Saloon is where you’ll find expats whiskey cocktails. At the first hint of warm weather, pony up for the Bulgari’s eponymous cocktail at their 48th-floor rooftop bar. It’s a sweet-summery mix of Aperol, gin, lime, and pineapple and orange juices.

Slurp up Soup Dumplings

Ask five locals where to get the best soup dumplings in Shanghai (that’s xiaolongbao) and you’ll get five different answers. Everyone has a favorite neighborhood joint, but there are a few clear winners of the best xiaolongbao in Shanghai award. The line outside Jia Jia Tang Bao, just north of People’s Square, is a clear indication it’s worth the wait. Grab a plastic stool and slurp up plain pork soup dumplings, pork and crab, or crab roe, the priciest. Fuchun, the original or one of its many branches, is slightly more upmarket, a restaurant where families go for more than xiaolongbao, but you’re here for just that. If you want half a dozen varieties of xiaolongbao in a lovely setting—there are truffles, the service is great—go to Din Tai Fung.

Eat Your Heart out

Mexican, Mediterranean, Mongolian, and every variety of Chinese cuisine, from spicy Hunan and Sichuan to more mellow, dim-sum slinging Cantonese: Shanghai has nearly everything you could possibly crave, at price points budget to blow out. You’re in Shanghai, so start with its food, like bowls of cong you ban mian (scallion oil noodles), before diving into greater China—hearty dumplings from northeastern China (Dongbei cuisine) at Four Seasons Dumpling King; warming, spicy hot pot from Chengdu; pan-fried cheese from Yunnan province. From here, your options are limitless: gussy up and go down to the Bund for Michelin-starred Italian food backed by a glittering skyline; head west to Hongqiao for Korean barbecue. We won’t blame you if you leave Shanghai a few pounds heavier.

Photo: thefoodgrapher/Shutterstock

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